Concentration / Enthusiasm help !!

Anything about MUSIC but doesn't fit into the forums above.
Acid Mitch
KVRAF
2039 posts since 5 Oct, 2005

Post Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:16 am

The times when you have no ideas is when you’re supposed to be doing all the other stuff like backing up data, organising patches/samples, cleaning, repairs and all the other stuff that makes it easier when you do have ideas.
If you get all that done the you start brushing up on theory or learn some new techniques from books, online and from local musicians. Eventually some ideas will come to you.

Acid Mitch
KVRAF
2039 posts since 5 Oct, 2005

Re: Concentration / Enthusiasm help !!

Post Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:42 am

LeVzi wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:08 pm
Distorted Horizon wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:17 am
Starting a new genre is like learning a new DAW. You can do it but not exactly sure how or what you're supposed to so it's frustrating.. Just do it, do it again and accept crap tracks. Do more and eventually your sessions are longer and more productive.
Couldn't be more true. I do something, listen to it and say "is that right?" but i've got no frame of reference lol
I watched the RedBull Cosey Fanni Tutti interview with the terrible interviewer and Cosey was saying that having no frame of reference and no idea about proper playing technique is what she prefers and thinks that’s where the magic happens.
If there are no rules or frame of reference then your free to do what sounds good to you. There is no right or wrong.

Your not likely to get a spot playing lead in a prog rock band or play in a philharmonic orchestra but not knowing what you’re doing shouldn’t stop anyone making music.

Acid Mitch
KVRAF
2039 posts since 5 Oct, 2005

Re: Concentration / Enthusiasm help !!

Post Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:25 am

Ghost Snake wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:06 am


One thing I noticed is that, after a long break (months), it's like you have to start again from scratch, it could take a lot of time to get into "the zone" ( I struggle a lot and it makes me want to quit music )
But that’s the same with most things. I find to progress at anything I have to do it 2 or 3 days a week minimum. Even if it’s only for a relatively short time each day.
At least your not doing marshal arts or skateboarding or something where “starting again” every few months means its more than your ego getting bruised.
Same for studying. Try passing maths or science exams with 1 lesson every other month.

If you don’t train your muscles (and brain) to do something then your training them to do nothing. The more you don’t do anything the easier it gets.

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Jace-BeOS
KVRAF
6173 posts since 7 Jan, 2005 from Corporate States of America

Re: Concentration / Enthusiasm help !!

Post Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:57 am

LeVzi wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:56 pm
The biggest difference in me, is a change in medications I was taking then, and now. Back then I was on meds for my mental health (Anti depressants, anti physcotics) but now I take nothing. (Cannot take these meds for cardiac reasons) So I assume it's something to do with this ?
Antidepressants? Like SSRI/SSNRI class drugs?

I’ve had this experience.

I was on an SSNRI. They reduce inhibitions. Since self-censorship is an inhibition, using an SSRI-type drug might indeed make you feel or seem more creative and productive. It did for me.

I acted on most of my artistic impulses while on that drug. I also did a LOT of OTHER things due to the disinhibition caused by the drug. I did crazy shit and it was destroying my personality. I had very little self control by the time I started to get off it. It took ten months to get off it. I started to improve in the last months, but the withdrawal was a f**king living hell.

(The drug also was causing me heart and nervous system problems all throughout my body. It was horrible to take, and even more horrible to escape. I was also briefly forced onto an antipsychotic, and it almost killed me via heat stroke because it stopped me being able to sweat.)

Years later, here I am, on no drugs, and I have self-control again. The problem is, I’m also more inhibited than I was prior to being on psych drugs. I self-censor a lot more (with regard to creative activities; I certainly still swear a fuckload), and I find it very hard to experience motivation for long.

I also don’t find sounds themselves as interesting as I used to. I used to be able to take a somewhat interesting sound and use it as the backbone for a song. I’m still way more sound-focused than melody-focused, but my ability to enjoy sounds for their own sake is less than before psych drugs.

Surely part of my creativity/enjoyment difficulty is situational (I hate where I live and it causes depression; drugs can’t fix situational depression). I’m also probably a little fearful of the idea of acting on impulses, since I remember a lot of the horrible shit I did because of that drug.

But I’ve had it confirmed by a neurologist that my sleep disorder is likely worse now due to the brain damage caused by the SSNRI drug. This tells me the same is true for why I struggle to act on creative impulses, especially since the mechanism of an SSRI class drug (blocking serotonin reuptake) is strongly linked to inhibitory function.

The body has spent so long trying to compensate for an over-abundance of something (serotonin) caused by external chemistry, including by way of slowing/shutting down it’s own system of production, it cannot then suddenly go back to normal when the external chemistry is no longer being presented.

This is the mechanism of physiological addiction, but it also has long-term consequences even when you’ve been off the drug long term. How long this lasts... I don’t know. I was on psych drugs for 6+ years. I’ve been off them for ten years and I still have these consequences.

The first improvements (being able to read fiction again) started near the end of getting off the SSNRI. I continued to get marginally better over the months and years that followed. No more “brain zaps” by the first year (actually, that still happens sometimes when I’m relaxed, but rarely). But the improvements stopped being as noticeable over time and I’ve settled into a kind of new baseline of “much better, but still not right”.

If I could, I would also deal with the situational contribution to my problems: I would get the hell out of where I live. It’s slowly killing me.

Since I cannot...

The only way I’ve found to deal with it is to be mechanical about it: I force myself to go through the motions of making music, or at least playing with audio. I will demo presets by playing them on a keyboard. I will drop drum loops or patterns onto the timeline and process the living hell out of them.

The hardest part is starting... but the second-hardest is finding anything interesting. So I just start something. Anything. Then I change it. Then I change it again. Sometimes my creative preferences will kick in and then I’ll work on something for quite a while. Sometimes I will even feel proud of my efforts. Sometimes not.

I do not care about genres. I don’t listen to, or create, music based on any consideration for genre. I listen to music I like, and I try to make music I like. That’s all that matters.

Therefore, I recommend removing any and all limiting factors that might be present in your musical thought process. IMO, that means stop worrying about genres.

It might be that both of us have to retrain our brains. I know of no other way but to just go through the motions. Repeatedly.

One trick I use on myself: save almost everything. Save anything longer than a four bar loop, especially if I’ve got a melody or multiple tracks. I save them to a folder called “tidbits” (if they’re really small or short), or “unfinished” (if they’re a bit more involved and almost a song).

Next time I set myself down to work, if I don’t know what to do, I’ll open one of those previous projects and see what I can do to it so that I like it more. Occasionally, I add enough to a tidbit to move it into the “unfinished” folder. Occasionally, I’ll add enough to an “unfinished” song that it becomes a full song, to be shared with others.

Then I feel satisfaction for making something worth sharing. This feeling goes away after a day or two, but it’s a very important positive feedback emotion. Sadly, I use it more as a justification to not go right back to the studio to work on more songs.

Other things to do: get into an exercise routine. Go for vigorous walks, do aerobics, jog... regularly increased heart rate & blood flow, and increased oxygen to the brain, can improve mood; that can improve motivation and creativity.

I’m curious... this is a personal inquiry you don’t have to answer: Was the antipsychotic prescribed to compensate for the SSRI drug making you more emotionally erratic?
- dysamoria.com
my music @ SoundCloud

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LeVzi
KVRAF
2334 posts since 8 Jul, 2008 from UK

Re: Concentration / Enthusiasm help !!

Post Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:29 am

Jace-BeOS wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:57 am
LeVzi wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:56 pm
The biggest difference in me, is a change in medications I was taking then, and now. Back then I was on meds for my mental health (Anti depressants, anti physcotics) but now I take nothing. (Cannot take these meds for cardiac reasons) So I assume it's something to do with this ?
I’m curious... this is a personal inquiry you don’t have to answer: Was the antipsychotic prescribed to compensate for the SSRI drug making you more emotionally erratic?

Was used as a mood stabilizer, as the SSRI was making me more manic, which was great for creativity as sleep became a thing of the past, and the more sleep deprived I got, the better it was.

But you can't live that way. And the two drugs kinda balanced each other out. Now I am having to use the gym as my mood stabiliser. It works, don't get me wrong, without it I am uncontrolable.

I basically now am breaking things into smaller projects and not firmly sticking to one, if I need to jump to something different to keep my mind from turning against what I am doing.

And as vurt said, don't expect too much from yourself, its not my job. Thats the problem I do expect more from myself, and if it's forced its impossible to do anything right.

I guess I am trying to relax into it more. Had a fun project today and spent 4 hours on it so far, mixing a track for my step son. I will go back and mix my own work tomorrow, and its all fresh.
Forward ever, Backward never

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Jace-BeOS
KVRAF
6173 posts since 7 Jan, 2005 from Corporate States of America

Re: Concentration / Enthusiasm help !!

Post Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:34 am

LeVzi wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:29 am
I guess I am trying to relax into it more. Had a fun project today and spent 4 hours on it so far, mixing a track for my step son. I will go back and mix my own work tomorrow, and its all fresh.
This sounds good :-)

Relax into it, yes, that’s what I try to do too when I force myself to just do anything at all. Just mess around. The way I described it probably made it sound horrible, like it’s a job, but that’s not my intent.
- dysamoria.com
my music @ SoundCloud

Ghost Snake
KVRist
150 posts since 16 Oct, 2009 from Italy

Re: Concentration / Enthusiasm help !!

Post Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:04 am

[quote=Jace-BeOS post_id=7665598 time=1581782223

One trick I use on myself: save almost everything. Save anything longer than a four bar loop, especially if I’ve got a melody or multiple tracks. I save them to a folder called “tidbits” (if they’re really small or short), or “unfinished” (if they’re a bit more involved and almost a song).

Next time I set myself down to work, if I don’t know what to do, I’ll open one of those previous projects and see what I can do to it so that I like it more. Occasionally, I add enough to a tidbit to move it into the “unfinished” folder. Occasionally, I’ll add enough to an “unfinished” song that it becomes a full song, to be shared with others.


[/quote]

This is a really good advice. I have a 'unfinished stuff' folder, but I NEVER go back to an old project for some reason. Might be a good thing to approach an old song with a fresh vision.

Oh, I took SSRI for a year. They "fixed" my mood, but my creativity was BLANK !
I am musically schizophrenic

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